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September 12, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Bill Thompson gets $1.3 million to study bias in WMD probes ยป

Bill Thompson
UCI's Bill Thompson has received a $1.3 million UC Lab Fees Research Grant to conduct a two-year study entitled "Evidence, Inference and Bias in WMD Forensics." The grant program seeks to build relationships between University of California researchers and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Thompson's project is a collaboration between research teams at UCI and Lawrence Livermore. A professor of criminology, law & society and psychology & social behavior, Thompson will look at special problems that arise when forensic science is used in national security investigations related to weapons of mass destruction. He and his colleagues will identify human factors that have created error and bias in past probes and will draw on psychological research and theory to devise better methods for analysis and communication of scientific findings. Reviewers unanimously rated Thompson's proposal as highly meritorious and noted that it has the potential to bring psychological and cognitive expertise to the labs in ways that could significantly affect U.S. foreign policy.

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